The first call using 9-1-1, the three digit telephone number designated as the Universal Emergency Number to request emergency assistance in the United States, was made on February 16, 1968. Senator Rankin Fite completed the first call in Haleyville, Alabama through the then Alabama Telephone Company.
According to the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the intense interest in the concept of 9-1-1 can be attributed primarily to the recognition of characteristics of modern society, i.e., increased incidences of crimes, accidents, and medical emergencies, inadequacy of existing emergency reporting methods, and the continued growth and mobility of the population. It is intended as a nationwide telephone number and gives the public fast and easy access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
NENA is on the forefront of all emergency communications issues. The association serves its members and the greater public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. With more than 9,000 members in 48 chapters across the United States and around the globe, NENA promotes the implementation and awareness of 9-1-1, as well as international three-digit emergency communications systems.
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